Written on the BodyPaperback Vintage Books
List price $12.11
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- Paperback $8.95
- Publisher: VINTAGE
- Format: Paperback | 192 pages
- Dimensions: 128mm x 194mm x 14mm | 118g
- Publication date: 1 April 2010
- Publication City/Country: London
- ISBN 10: 0099193914
- ISBN 13: 9780099193913
- Sales rank: 13,477
Written on the Body is a secret code only visible in certain lights: the accumulation of a lifetime gather there. In places the palimpsest is so heavily worked that the letters feel like braille. I like to keep my body rolled away from prying eyes, never unfold too much, tell the whole story. I didn't know that Louise would have reading hands. She has translated me into her own book.
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Jeanette Winterson OBE is the author of ten novels, including Oranges are not the Only Fruit, The Passion and Sexing the Cherry; a book of short stories, The World and Other Places; a collection of essays, Art Objects as well as many other works, including children's books, screenplays and journalism. Her writing has won the Whitbread Award for Best First Novel, the John Llewellyn Rhys Memorial Prize, the E. M. Forster Award and the Prix d'argent at Cannes Film Festival. She lives in London and Gloucestershire. To find out more visit her website at www.jeanettewinterson.com.
"Winterson's novels are about exploding our complacent notions of the real, breaking down received ideas of gender, time and space... John Donne wrote, "Love...makes one little room, as everywhere." Winterson's novel arrives at a similar affirmation" Time Out "An ambitious work, at once a love story and a philosophical meditation on the body...the result is a work that is consistently revelatory about the phenomenon of love" New York Times Book Review "This book is a deep sensual plunge, a worship of the body, inside and out" Guardian
Can you write a compelling love story if you conceal the gender of one of the lovers? That's what the much-acclaimed British Winterson attempts in her fourth novel (The Passion, 1988; Sexing the Cherry, 1990; etc.). All we know about the narrator: (S)he lives alone in a London flat. (S)he is a freelance translator (Russian into English). (S)he used to like guys, but now is into women. (S)he will fight if provoked ("I've always had a wild streak"). (S)he has been around the block, and the bedrooms of various married ladies; nonetheless, after Catherine, Inge, Bathsheba, etc., (s)he is settling down with nice, undemanding Jacqueline when along comes Louise: an Australian redhead, married for ten years to wealthy, Jewish Elgin, a cancer researcher. Louise pursues the narrator ("you were the most beautiful creature male or female I had ever seen"), who happily succumbs; Louise leaves Elgin, and the lovers have five blissful months together before Elgin tells the narrator that Louise has cancer. Back under his care, she might survive; otherwise, no hope. The narrator leaves town ("our love was not meant to cost you your life"), then returns but fails to find Louise, who miraculously reappears. Granted, Winterson has found a medium-hip narrative voice that fits her requirements; that aside, her concealed gender gimmick is a barren demonstration of her craft. The cost of withholding is too high; a strained lyricism must do duty for the particulars of love, and the puzzle distracts attention from the heart of the matter: Can a veteran of bedroom sports still find an enduring love? That question disappears down the Segalesque escape-hatch of the deadly disease. (Kirkus Reviews)
The most beguilingly seductive novel to date from the author of The Passion and Sexing the Cherry. Winterson chronicles the consuming affair between the narrator, who is given neither name nor gender, and the beloved, a complex and confused married woman. "At once a love story and a philosophical meditation."--New York Times Book Review.